Compartment syndrome is a disorder that occurs when the pressure inside one of the body's strong connective tissue membranes becomes too high. Different regions of the body are separated into compartments called fascia that hold all of the comprising organs, muscles, and tissues in their respective places. Because the fascia has this function, it is not easily able to expand like other types of tissue. Numerous mechanisms can cause increased pressure including traumatic injury, internal bleeding, edema, excessive swelling, broken bones, burns, overly tight bandaging, surgical repair of blood vessels, blood clots, vigorous exercise, use of anabolic steroids, abdominal surgery, sepsis and other infections, abdominal bleeding, and pelvic fracture. Compartment syndrome can occur in the arms, hands, legs, feet, or abdomen. Diagnosis is made with a physical exam, laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging, and direct measurement of the pressure inside of the affected compartment.
Several common symptoms and complications occur in individuals affected by compartment syndrome. Learn about them now.
Pins And Needles Sensation
Compartment syndrome patients feel the pins and needles sensation in the affected area. Nerves throughout the body send impulses through the main nerve that feeds the general region, and then the main nerve runs to the spinal cord. The spinal cord then transmits signals to the individual's brain so they can be interpreted. If there is an interruption in this pathway of the nerve impulse, the impulse will not make it to the brain correctly. Compartment syndrome occurs when one or more mechanisms cause the pressure to increase excessively inside of one of an individual's fascia compartments because the fascia is not flexible enough to expand. The pressure causes the tissues, muscles, and organs to become displaced and puts pressure on the nerves inside the compartment. Compressed nerves are not able to properly perform their function of impulse transmission between one another, causing a disruption in the nerve pathway through which the impulse travels. This malfunction causes the impulses that contain the information about sensation to become fully or partially obstructed from reaching the patient's brain. The partial impulses cause misfiring of the nerves resulting in a pins and needles sensation.
Read more about the symptoms and complications linked to compartment syndrome now.